Sunday, September 20, 2009

Full circle

One of the things that blows me away the most about the character of God is that he is a God of redemption. Now in my mind, redemption equals restoring value to that which is worthless.

It's the equivalent of transforming a steaming pile of dog poo into a priceless treasure (not removing it, transforming it).

This is how I usually answer those who want to insist to me that God is causing things to happen for a reason. Poppy cock! But he will allow things to happen that are outside of his "design" for your life; and better yet, he will use them. Is that just a matter of semantics? Wordsmith that I am ... I'd have to answer with an emphatic no.

Today I saw the latest chapter of "dog poo to treasure" in the life of a remarkable young woman named Shiloh.

Shiloh recently took a job as a "tech" (guard) at the drug rehab facility where I base my ministry. Today in church, she was one of two techs who accompanied the ladies to church. The pastor apparently asked her to read the prayer requests during the prayer portion of the service. Most of these requests are from the rehab ladies, collected by my ministry team during our classes with them.

Shiloh was barely two sentences into the liturgy when she became overcome with emotion and began weeping. The words simply would not come forth. The pastor looked a little astonished by waited patiently for her to regain her composure. She did, only to lose it again later, regain it, lose it again, and so forth.

At one point, a couple of the ladies called out, "Go Shi! We love you Ms. Shiloh!"

The event was powerful and moving; even more so to me, because I had an inside seat.

Shiloh is a daughter of one of our church members. Her name used to be Tye, but she decided to change it recently, stating that Shiloh (which means peace) better represents the woman God is carving out of the girl once known as Tye.

Shiloh joined my ministry team about 2 months ago. She counsels and prays with women who need one-on-one attention during class.

Her testimony is powerful. You see, Shiloh is a graduate of the drug rehab facility. She has nearly 6 years clean and sober. Previously, she was a high school dropout, teenage mother and drug addict; angry with God over the hand he had dealt her; angry at anyone within ear shod. Now, she is a tender-hearted young woman with a beautiful spirit and an authentic witness.

And she is a priceless treasure to many; including me.

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